Happy Holidays to everyone! I’m out in Walker and my courtyard — it’s so fun to make our courtyard look really festive this time of year.
One of my favorite landscape friends, Gary, told me something really important that I want to share with you. During the winter months, it’s important to reset your sprinkler systems. We generally have our sprinklers go off in the early mornings during the summer months. Gary explained during the winter months, it’s better to re-set the time to late morning or early afternoon. During that time, the weather is warmer allowing your sprinkler to come on.
It’s important we continue to water our yards and our foundations during the winter months, so be sure and re-set your timer.
Because maintaining a home is very expensive, I like to try and spread out all the things we need to do to maintain our homes to keep them beautiful. Right before the holidays I like to have the windows cleaned. I just recently met Dale Harris from Plus One Window Cleaning (C:214‐986‐2334). He cleaned all the windows, overhead awnings and cleared the dryer vent.
Make sure the window cleaner clears out your dryer vent to avoid a potential fire hazard. Ask him to let you know if he sees areas that need attention or paint.
After years of walking my sellers and buyers through the inspection process and personally remodeling & building, I’ve compiled this reference that I hope you find helpful.
- Professionally clean chimneys, check mortar conditions & chimney caps (chimney fires can be devastating)
- Inspect roof for missing/damaged shingles & areas that need to be sealed (e.g., around skylights & vent pipes)
- Clean gutters seasonally
- Walk exterior of home checking for missing mortar, cracking, soil erosion, pest entry, rotted wood, excess water, window/door damage
- Keep trees & shrubs trimmed away from home & roof line (if you have a tree that is architecturally enhancing your home but extremely close, a root barrier may be installed to prevent roots from penetrating plumbing, etc.)
- Keep trees thinned to prevent loss during ice storms
- Keep landscape soil line 4-6 in. from foundation line to prevent undetected pest & termite intrusion
- Check sprinkler system & rain freeze gauge annually to make sure there are no leaks or water hitting the home (Summer hours: early morning // Winter hours: warmest time of the day; rain/freeze gauge may prevent the sprinkler from operating during continuous cold weather)
- Winterize outdoor faucets
- Keep outdoor wood surfaces painted to prevent wood rot
- Check garage doors to make sure they are in working order & in compliance with safety code
- Check fencing & gates for repairs
- Pool should be professionally maintained year-round
- Pier & beam construction – inspect crawl space for pest entry, excess water, soil erosion & necessary foundation repairs
- Check attic space for pest intrusion, proper insulation, proper ventilation (improper ventilation causes premature roof damage)
- Smoke/Fire detectors should be in or outside of each bedroom; one window should properly open in each bedroom for fire safety
- Install carbon monoxide detectors (buy at hardware store & plug in)
- Security systems should be properly maintained & monitored
- Maintain plumbing & inspect annually: water heater, slow draining areas, leaks, connections under sinks, toilet parts, water hose from washer to wall, proper grout/caulk in showers & tubs prevent leaking, rotted wood & shower pan replacement
- Service AC & Heat semi-annually with frequent filter changes. Drain lines should be properly cleared to prevent leaks
- Ice makers should be serviced to prevent costly leaks
- Elevators/Mechanicals require annual (or in some cases semi-annual) servicing
- Clear dryer vents to prevent fire
- Maintain flooring to preserve quality
- If doors do not shut properly, it is usually an indication of movement – check drainage & foundation
- For maximum energy efficiency install: LED lighting, proper attic ventilation & insulation, programmable thermostat, and tankless water heaters. Keep vents dust & mold free
- Consider a master surge protector for the entire house
Before Listing Your Home
Before listing your home, accomplish the previously listed tasks & consider these additions:
- Declutter, stage, freshen, tighten hardware, clean windows, paint if needed, & add color to landscape.
- Make sure all lighting is functional